Asean experts are fine-tuning their action plans and tapping financial support from overseas in an effort to reduce poverty and tackle HIV/Aids as part of the United Nations’ millennium development goals, a workshop has heard.

The majority of the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations are struggling to meet the targets, which range from halving extreme poverty to halting the spread of HIV/Aids and providing universal primary education by 2015.

The Asean Secretariat director of the socio-cultural cooperation directorate, Donald Tambunan, said the millennium development goals (MDG) targets involved those in charge of agriculture and rural and social development, and required substantial coordination and exchange of information between the group members.

Mr Tambunan told the two-day Asean Road Map for the Attainment of MDGs workshop yesterday Asean was seeking funding from international organisations to follow the regional road map, which was being fine-tuned so as not to clash with each country’s development projects.

Some UN agencies have already assisted Asean members in several MDG endeavours, he said.

The board chair of the Asian Institute of Technology centre on the Asean MDGs, said his body had given support to Asean members over the past few years for policy research, education and training to tackle some of the MDG issues.

There will be a meeting with key international players, including the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and some UN agencies, by the end of this week.

“We will hopefully get a core team to work towards Asean’s full-fledged achievement of the MDGs in time,” Mr Apichai said.

The Interior Ministry’s chief inspector-general, Jadul Apichatabutra, said the ministry would later this week host the 7th Asean senior officials meeting on rural development and poverty eradication and the third meeting of Asean+3 (China, Japan and South Korea) senior officials.

These meetings are aimed at exploring regional strategies towards the achievement of the MDGs.